So, now that you have (hopefully) done your research and gained a better understanding of your business, customers and marketplace, its time to consider your product or service?
Has there been any discoveries during the research process? Have you discovered any additional products or services that you could offer? Or have you perhaps decided to streamline your range?
Whatever you have decided, it’s time to get it down on paper so that you can clearly communicate your offering to potential customers, and for that we will use the 4Ps of marketing.
NOTE – we use the 4P’s, there are variations, that use up to 12 Ps but for this exercise, the 4 main points are sufficient.
The 4 P’s of Marketing
Product, Place, Price & Promotion
In this section you want to state the features of your product or service and its benefits, consider the following questions
What is your product or service?
How do you serve your customers through your product or service?
What features does it have? Are there additional features that customers can upgrade to?
How will customers use it?
How is it different to your competitors’ products or service?
What will be the overall user experience?
Your place is both your physical/online positioning and where you see yourself fitting in within the marketplace from the point of view of your customer, if you have carved out a niche and the customers you are appealing to.
Where will you position yourself in your marketplace? High-end? Local? Budget friendly?
In your industry where should you be present to attract customers?
Will you have a physical store, online store, mobile working?
Look at what your competitors and how you can be competitive.
Largely dependent on where you position yourself in the market place, what will your price point be?
If you are considering yourself budget friendly but are more expensive than your budget friendly competitors you may lose sales, similarly if you are positioned at a high end service and are the cheapest in your area, some customers may view that with suspicion of not getting the high end service you claim.
What is the value of the product/service to the customer?
Are there established price points you need to consider?
Will you look to consider discounts for trade or loyal customers? If so, you’ll need to consider what makes the discounted price continue to be profitable.
How will you compare to your competitors?
We’ll be considering this more in our future next lesson where we look at marketing channels but its worth considering the avenues available to you.
Where can you get messages across to your target market?
What is the best time to promote? Is your product seasonal or is there PEST considerations for the best time to create promotions?
How do your competitors promote their services?
All of the 4P’s relate to each other eg, you will want to consider seasonal factors (on promotion) when deciding your products, and height of season working may demand a higher price point. So take time to consider your answers and refer between the four when doing this exercise.